Communal spaces in the summer

At last, the sun is shining and we can start to enjoy the garden and make the most of the BBQ! What happens though when you’re living in a block of flats, or residential area with a communal space?

When you own a house with a private garden, it’s easy to know what the rules are, but what do you need to consider in your communal space in the summer?

We’ve seen a few incidents whereby tenants unfortunately got a little unstuck. When you are thinking of firing up the BBQ – it might be a bit of effort.

But before you even think of buying the sausages, check your lease! It’s common for BBQs to be prohibited either directly as stated or under the clause of “observe additional rules and regulation set out by the management company”. It may see like we’re party poopers, but look at the damaged lawn here on the left. As you would expect, this lawn has to be replaced which is an unnecessary expenditure that tenants could do without.

In addition, residents fail to understand the dangers of having a BBQ on their balconies or roof terraces. The risks can be fatal to other residents in the event of a fire, again check your lease and use your common sense.

Similarly we had a complaint about children playing in a communal garden who were throwing pebbles that were bouncing and hitting patio doors. These children were too young to understand the implications of this ‘game’ and highlights the fact that small children must be supervised at all times. Whilst having garden space is enjoyable, be aware that your outside space is shared and therefore others need to be considered. You don’t want to be the one to apologise to your neighbour (and have the expense) when your child kicks a ball and it ends up through their window!

There is also the implication of building insurance which can be invalidated by certain acts of negligence. It’s probably safe to assume that people do not think to bring a bucket of water down with them from their flat as a safety measure in-case the BBQ gets out of hand. It is why – and whilst frustrating in the summer maybe – overall BBQs are generally discouraged and come down to health and safety/ fire risk concerns.

So, what to do? We suggest that if this weekend you really do want a griddled burger… tempt friends with houses and ask them to host and you put your feet up, or find your nearest pub with their own BBQ feast.

Small things to consider – but worthwhile in the long-run. If you have any other questions about your communal space or block management of your property, don’t hesitate to get in touch. In the meantime – enjoy the sun whilst it lasts!